What Makes a Great Deli Shaved Chicken?

Chicken sandwiches are a picnic basket staple, and Bar-S shaved deli chicken provides high quality chicken flavor every time. Stock up the fridge and always be ready for a delicious last-minute lunch, midnight snack or impromptu picnic. High quality deli shaved chicken should be an ivory to light beige color. The color should be mostly uniform across the slice, and there may be a darker rind or skin. Small holes or air pockets are acceptable. Shaved chicken should be thinly sliced, with the slices mostly intact. They should not appear shredded, nor be too difficult to separate. Chicken should be the primary aroma. The aroma should not have a generic poultry quality but be clearly chicken, though it may be low in overall intensity. There may also be additional or secondary aromas of smoke, brine, warm spices, onion and garlic, or sweetness such as honey or brown sugar. Secondary aromas add depth and complexity. If present, the brine aroma should not suggest bouillon cube. Less desirable are aromas of ham, hot dog, liver, or sour mustard. If a smokearoma is present, it should suggest grill or wood smoke and not have a scorched or ash quality. The most evident basic taste in high quality shaved chicken should be salt, low to moderate in intensity. Sweetness should be slight in intensity, and sourness and bitterness should be low as well. The aromas described above should also be present in the flavor of the chicken. The primary flavor should be the meat itself, and the secondary flavors of smoke, brine, spices, or sweetness will add depth and complexity. The flavor of the chicken should not be masked by less desirable secondary flavors such as hot dog, ham, or liver. Deli shaved chicken should be tender. The meat should not be overly soft, and should not have a gelatincharacter. Any covering or casing should not be too hard or chewy. The meat should be moist, without being slick. The shaved chicken should leave meat flavor and saltiness on the palate, and have a moderate dissolve. The aftertaste should not consist solely of secondary flavors such as smoke. When featured in a sandwich, the chicken should keep its own identifiableflavor and texture. It should not get lost in the flavor of the bread or condiments. The meat should provide some texture contrast to the sandwich bread.

Our blog, The Flavor, provides insight on the latest industry news, award winners, and research on consumer behaviors.

Tasting terms

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • aftertaste

    The taste remaining in the mouth after eating or drinking; sometimes associated with unpleasant flavors or bitterness. Example: Some diet sweeteners contain notes of bitterness.

  • character

    The combined aromas and flavors of a particular food or ingredient. The character of a food is considered simple when it is one-dimensional, but it is complex when it has many discernible ingredients. Example: Mole sauce has several ingredients that blend to give the sauce a complex character. Granulated sugar has a very simple character.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.